In the main event of UFC Stockholm, both Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Smith were coming off of title shot losses to Jon Jones. Both fighters were looking to get back into the win column and show the world they are still at the top of the division despite the setback.
And, for Smith, he did exactly that as he submitted Gustafsson in the fourth-round. And, after the fight, the Swede announced his retirement from the sport.
“What can I say. The show is over guys.” Gustafsson said while putting down his gloves on the canvas and walking out of the Octagon.
Following the announcement, both Anthony Smith and Jon Jones reacted to the retirement of Gustafsson.
“I just hope that he doesn’t look at a loss to me as something super negative, because I think people are having a hard time getting used to me being at the top,” Smith said post-fight (via MMA Junkie). “And I don’t think me beating him is a reflection of him falling off the wagon or losing his edge, or not being good anymore. I’m just not going to be turned away. I hope that he can look at it like that.
“It sounds silly, but it’s not you, it’s me.
“I just put my head down and I just grind,” he concluded. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it now: I’m going to be a world champion, or I’m going to die trying. I’m not going to stop. So all these people that keep talking about me being a fluke, or being a flash in the pan, you guys are doing yourself a disservice, because I’m coming. And I’m not going anywhere.”
For Jones, he took to social media questioning if Gustafsson’s retirement was legit.
“Honestly I don’t believe you,” he wrote. “But if you’re serious, thank you for everything. You held the division to a standard and made us better. Go kick ass with that Family.”
Ultimately, Alexander Gustafsson has said for quite some time he was ready to retire from the sport and he now does so.
Cole Shelton covers MMA for BJPenn.com, MMANews, and MyMMANews.com while also being the lead MMA odds writer for Sports Betting Dime